UNC Football Player Turns Himself in Sexual Assault Case
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina football player turned himself in on an arrest warrant Wednesday morning for sexual battery and assault on a female student in February.
In a news release, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said Allen Anthony Artis, 21, was released by the magistrate on a $5,000 unsecured bond. Artis didn't attend a brief court appearance Wednesday afternoon on the two misdemeanor charges, and his attorney Sam Coleman left the courtroom through a side door to avoid reporters.
The next court date is scheduled for Sept. 29 in the case.
The arrest warrant stated Artis had sex with the woman against her will when he "should have reasonably known that the other person was mentally incapacitated and physically helpless." The warrant also said he pulled on her bra strap "causing an indentation on her shoulder/back" during the incident.
The woman, Delaney Robinson, said Tuesday she had become intoxicated after being out with friends and was unable to consent. The Associated Press typically doesn't identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Robinson held a news conference, saying she had filed for the misdemeanor charges after police and prosecutors indicated there wasn't enough evidence to pursue felony charges.
Her attorney, Denise Branch, also criticized the way campus police handled a rape kit and the questioning of Artis, a reserve junior linebacker now indefinitely suspended from the team.
Orange County district attorney Jim Woodall said no final decisions have been made on whether to prosecute, though Branch pointed to an Aug. 2 email she received from one of Woodall's assistant prosecutors.
In it, assistant district attorney Jeffrey Nieman said the UNC Department of Public Safety "has made clear their determination that the evidence does not support criminal charges, and our review of the investigation does not lead us to advise or otherwise take action to the contrary.
In a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press, Woodall said an investigator has consulted with Woodall's office regarding steps taken as recently as Aug. 26 and Aug. 29 in the case.
"At this point, we're waiting on additional evidence," Woodall said. "Frankly, the UNC police would not be continuing to investigate and consult us if the case were not an open case."
Artis, a native of Marietta, Georgia, has one tackle in two games this season for the Tar Heels (1-1) and played primarily on special teams last year.
His indefinite suspension is an automatic university policy when an athlete is charged with a misdemeanor, team spokesman Kevin Best said Tuesday. Any reinstatement would come after a review from athletic director Bubba Cunningham, head coach Larry Fedora and school officials.